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Easter New Orleans
A couple of things. There aren't anymore marauding rats in the Dumaine house and as for the occasional mouse, if I bother to set the traps, I might catch, that is kill dead, one every other week, so I hardly even bother with such inconsequential threats and as for threats of a more serious nature, all it took was locking the side gate at Dumaine and I don't see anyone hanging around for over a week, even my little helper, who it just so happens is not the embodiment of pure innocence. So it was a false alarm thinking the drug 'n thug scene was starting up again around Dumaine. However, the corner store guys are beginning their gutting and rebuilding process, so when the store gets going it could liven things up in a not necessarily good way, I guess.

The person who will rent from me when I go back to VA in June wanted to do a little landscaping so the backyard and side yard have become a veritable garden paradise (at least relative to the post-apocalyptic feel of it prior to two weeks ago) and without the manic barking dogs (Sheba, Killer, and Watchdog, in the backyards backing up to my side yard) and constant threat of roaming knuckleheads, the Rocheblave property has really catapulted to become one of the top two places I live.

It is so quiet here in New Orleans that even though I still get a little choked up when I pass through the many dead neighborhoods, I mostly am feeling very calm, and happy, if just a little tired. If I hadn't worked so hard on renovating this abandoned property over the last six years I would feel guilty about how fortunate I am, having this nice little place surrounded by so much catastrophe. But, perhaps contrary to my nature, I have worked my ass off on this property, granted over a rather longer than necessary time period, but that I didn't take but a few inches of water in the front two rooms, and am now almost fully operational, while so many people are still suffering their losses, is not something about which I am persecuting myself.

Raheim, the 10-year-old kid from around the corner that I can almost beat most of the time at basketball, doesn't come by too regularly but he shows up once in awhile. Because there are so few open schools here in New Orleans he is attending school in Jefferson and it is an all white school and Raheim longs for his old school, his all black school. He is getting scary good at talking like a white kid and he plays it as a gag until I can't stand it, and say, thank you Raheim, but that's enough. At ten, he's still got more of the innocence and less of the street on him, and when I look at him and his fresh little innocent smile I hope he doesn't get his wish of going back to his all black school because but for a few exceptions to prove the rule, the public schools here in New Orleans, predominately black, were killers of children. The accomplices in the murder of New Orleans children are the absent fathers, and...I don't know, I guess the list is long.

In the past, as I was all about the mayhem and murder and degradation here in the hoods of New Orleans, I want to go on a little bit more about how quiet it is here now. On top of being quiet in general it is especially quiet because it is Easter Weekend and all the workers have taken three days off. Other than me, the reprobate, and the Dumaine corner store guy, Muslim, I don't think I've seen any grunt workers in the neighborhood, this Easter Sunday. It is so quiet and de-populated that I go out in my backyard periodically, in my underwear. Biafran babies are obese compared to me with no leggings on and I just rarely go around without my legs covered. Anyone that knows me knows this. So, I'm going out in my backyard in my underwear, how de-populated is that? This is the first worker break since the area has become somewhat more operable, stop lights mostly working and and a corner store or two (still not one of the five or six fast food establishments open in my area though) and a grocery store within a mile, so what if there used to be five within that same mile? And from here you can still hear the barges and the ferries at night blasting each other on the river with their horns and the old St. Charles streetcars running on Canal, a block away, make more noise, in a good way, than the newer (but flooded) Canal streetcars. And the weather lately has been almost perfect, if slightly hinting at the heat to come.

Um, that's pretty much it. I am without complaint.
- jimlouis 4-16-2006 8:15 pm [link] [8 comments]